founder Stuart Koe convicted of drug trafficking

Stuart Koe Chi Yeow (above) was found guilty on Feb 27, 2018, of selling one packet of a crystalline substance containing 0.17g of methamphetamine to beauty adviser Yeoh Kim Koon. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A district court has convicted founder Stuart Koe Chi Yeow, 45, of one count of drug trafficking.

Following a trial, District Judge Olivia Low found him guilty on Tuesday (Feb 27) of selling one packet of a crystalline substance containing 0.17g of methamphetamine, or Ice, to beauty adviser Yeoh Kim Koon for $240.

Koe committed the offence in his Spottiswoode Park Road home at around 7.30pm on Aug 25, 2016.

He has five other drug-related charges against him for offences including methamphetamine consumption and possession. They have been stood down and will be dealt with at a later date.

Yeoh, who is a convicted drug abuser and is also known as Eric, testified in court in September last year that he had bought drugs multiple times from Koe - the founder of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender news and social networking site.

The Malaysian told Judge Low that Koe had sold him methamphetamine, or Ice, which they referred to as "cream", priced at either $100 per gram or $120 for the same amount.

He added that Koe had also sold him another substance referred to as "G", which cost $300 for 100ml. The court heard that he was Koe's sex partner from July to August 2016.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Woon Kwong told the court last year that Yeoh was arrested in his Sengkang flat at 7.20am on Sept 15, 2016. Koe was arrested a week later.

Yeoh pleaded guilty to offences including methamphetamine consumption and possession on May 31 last year. He was later sentenced to 16 months in jail.

Taking the stand in December last year, Koe, who is also the managing director of local pharmaceutical firm ICM Pharma, denied selling illegal drugs to Yeoh.

He testified that instead of narcotics, he had sold the Malaysian some numbing cream which can be used to prepare the skin for tattooing and piercing.

Koe also said that G was how they referred to a hair-growth scalp lotion known as Growell. His firm manufactures both the skin-numbing cream and Growell, the court heard.

But when cross-examined by DPP Wong, Koe admitted that he knew the word "cream" could also be used to refer to methamphetamine.

Koe also said he knew that another drug, gamma hydroxybutyric acid, could be referred to as "GHB" or "G water".

Koe has been offered bail of $45,000 and will be back in court on March 14 for his mitigation and sentencing.

Offenders convicted of drug trafficking can be jailed for between five and 20 years. They can also receive between five and 15 strokes of the cane.

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